Some random thoughts after the Razorbacks’ much-needed win on the road at Auburn.
- The Razorback defense came to play on Saturday. Granted the matchup was favorable, but the eight sacks recorded – 3.5 by Trey Flowers – were the most by a Razorback team since the 2000 Cotton Bowl vs. Texas. The Hogs had just seven sacks on the season entering the game.
- Defensive Coordinator Paul Haynes unleashed the Hogs, dialing up blitz after blitz. The constant pressure against the weak, inexperienced Auburn offensive line made it a tough day for both Tiger quarterbacks. The Hogs netted 11 tackles for loss on the day.
- The fourth quarter reverse pass by Brandon Mitchell to Javontee Herndon was perfectly executed. Mitchell’s throw on the run, and Herndon’s dynamic grab in the corner of the end zone gave the Hogs back their two score cushion with 13:30 to play. Play of the game.
- A lot of things were different Saturday, and having Paul Petrino in the press box was one of them. The move allowed Petrino a better view, and in his terms, “take the emotion out of the game.” We liked the results.
- The offensive balance made the play-action passing game relevant for the first time this season. The mix of 32 rush, 28 pass kept Tyler Wilson (20-27, 216 PaYds) clean and the Tigers guessing all day long. Dennis Johnson (76 RuYds, 2TDs) was a bull.
- After driving the length of the field on their first drive, Zach Hocker’s missed 26-yard field goal off the right upright could have been a huge momentum killer. To their credit, the Hogs and their defense rose to the occasion and didn’t let that bit of adversity start the slide as in past weeks.
- That might be the last time we see the front-running Gene Chizik…and that’s bad news for the Hogs. Chizik apologized to the fans after the game on Saturday saying, “The Auburn Family and fans didn’t deserve this today.” We tend to think otherwise.
- The lackluster start by the Razorback offense in the third quarter was a bit disconcerting. The Hogs, who led 10-0 at the half, ran only 10 plays that netted just 20 yards and no first downs during the frame. The defense though just would not relent all day.
- Keante Minor looked a bit shaky back there fair catching punts Saturday. Minor’s muffed third quarter punt led to a short field and Auburn’s only touchdown of the day.
Of course, we can’t possibly mention everything that was “Good, Bad and Ugly.” What did we leave out?